At a town hall on Tuesday, fans of the Miami Marlins voiced their displeasure with the team’s direction under its new ownership group that includes CEO Derek Jeter.
Jeter was on hand for Tuesday’s event at Marlins Park, which came after the Marlins recently made several trades to cut payroll. Among the players that have been dealt so far include 2017 National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton, infielder Dee Gordon, and outfielder Marcell Ozuna. Furthermore, two of the more established players that remain on the roster–catcher J.T. Realmuto and outfielder Christian Yelich–are both reportedly unhappy with the team’s direction.
The trades are some of the first major personnel decisions that have been made under the new ownership group that includes Jeter and Bruce Sherman. On Tuesday, Jeter emphasized the team’s need to rebuild and improve its financial situation, though some Marlins fans were clear in expressing their displeasure. More from The Miami Herald:
Several fans told Jeter they were angry over the new regime’s payroll slashing. One shouted at Jeter that his group spent “$1.2 billion and then ran out of money.”
“I can’t sit here and say trust me,” said Jeter, who answered questions for nearly 90 minutes. “You don’t know me. You earn trust over time. I know how organizations are sustainable over time. I know you have been through a lot. I can’t relate to it. It’s going to be a tough road. It’s going to take time and effort.”
The question asked at least four times, including by one woman who was crying while asking: Why didn’t the Marlins keep Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Dee Gordon and merely add pitching? Twice, Jeter challenged fans to name the pitchers they would add.
“You can’t throw money at a problem and continue to dig a bigger hole,” Jeter said, while praising the crying woman’s passion. “To not have any depth in the organization, even if you were to win, you would have to build again at some point. Throwing money at a problem is not the answer.
The group led by Jeter and Sherman was unanimously approved by MLB owners in September, clearing the way for it to purchase the franchise from Jeffrey Loria. The Marlins won a World Series in 2003 under Loria, but have not appeared in the postseason since and have not had a winning season since 2009.